Now, however, two things happened to turn me from optimist to pessimist:
1. Trump telling his deluded followers he will be reinstated as president in August, a fantasy worthy only of sidesplitting guffaws were it not for his possible purpose behind voicing this preposterous absurdity. He knows this is not going to happen, so what is his real intent? Is it to incite his MAGA crazies to violence once August has passed and they realize he is not going to return to the White House? Trump may also hope that a repeat of his January 6 attempt to overturn the election result will succeed and, having regained the immunity from prosecution that goes with the presidency, keep him from being indicted for his many crimes.
Trump promoting this fiction is bad enough. In addition, Sydney Powell, the Trump tool who went to such extremes during the presidential campaign that even Trump disavowed her, is saying the same thing. She is the attorney whose novel defense against a libel suit brought against her by a voting machine company she defamed is: “No rational person would believe my outlandish claims.” And then there is retired General Michael Flynn, caught on tape advocating the overthrow of the government by a military coup.
2. Sen. Joe Manchin (DINO-WV) persists in holding out for congressional bipartisanship, a pipedream on a par with Trump’s August reinstatement illusion. His fly-in-the-ointment obstruction of his own party plays right into the hands of the authoritarian mob (read: Republicans) moving to steal the 2022 midterm elections. Manchin is delusional if he sincerely believes that he alone can persuade the necessary 10 Republicans to overcome a filibuster and support Democratic legislative initiatives. In attempting to be the modern reincarnation of Franz von Papen, the erstwhile German chancellor who believed he could tame Adolf Hitler, he is destined for similar disappointment.
Trump’s latest attempt at seizing power must be stopped. The danger he represents cannot be overstated. The three criminal investigations of Trump must be accelerated. Indictments cannot come soon enough. Additionally, both Washington, DC law enforcement and the U.S. military need to be put on high alert so that they can stop any violent attempts at overthrowing the government. At this point, nothing Trump does is too far-fetched to be dismissed.
As for Manchin, President Biden needs to do his best LBJ impression and take the loopy legislator to the woodshed. The time for carrots is past. Now is the time for sticks. Presidents have considerable discretion when doling out government money. Now is the time for that discretion to be exercised. Manchin should be advised of exactly how he and his West Virginia constituents will suffer when their federal largesse is substantially reduced.
The Manchin Family has a long history of dubious behavior, in stark contrast to the image the Senator tries to convey as part of his Quixotic pursuit of bipartisanship. His family has profited for years from his positions as governor and senator. While West Virginia’s Education Secretary, his wife pushed through a sweetheart contract for her daughter’s pharmaceutical company to provide epi-pens to state public schools. She was recently appointed Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission by President Biden, an enticement to Manchin to get with the president’s program (didn’t work). Daughter Heather, who recently retired as CEO of pharmaceutical company, Mylan, N.V., was often steeped in scandal, including a fake Master’s degree on her resume, jacking up the price of epi-pens by 461 percent, and moving her company offshore to avoid U.S. taxes. During all this, not a peep was heard from Joe Manchin. FYI, Governor Manchin left his state ranked #47 in healthcare, #45 in education, #48 for its economy, and #50 for infrastructure. Nice job.
These two measures—heightened law enforcement and military alert, and depriving West Virginia of federal grants and contracts—are mere stopgaps in our ongoing efforts to preserve the republic that so many Americans fought and died to safeguard. Their sacrifice must not have been in vain. Inaction is no longer an option.
June 11, 2021